April may bring May flowers, but it also brings a healthy new crop of WordPress, Magento, and ExpressionEngine content that we are thrilled to share with you. So, without further ado, here’s the most informative and interesting content that we came across during the last month.
WordPress and Blogging
- Responsive, Real-Time Graphs in WordPress: Dealing with Data – This is a special post that I made just to help out those who are struggling to get your graphs working properly. I start off with a discussion of PHP and MySQL. If you really struggled through those parts of this series, take some time to review this section. Some of it’s repeating older sections, but now that you’ve actually done this, you will likely have some epiphanies about how and why this process works.
- Launching a Business Website Using WordPress – There are so many WP plugins to customize your admin dashboard: some to change the look and feel of the dashboard and some for the functionality. But a major drawback of these plugins are their bulky nature. These make your WordPress site slower to load.
- Reducing Comment Spam on WordPress Sites – Comment spam is the bane of bloggers. Comment spammers are usually bots, although sometimes humans, that scour the Internet in search of blogs with open comment threads upon which to drop irrelevant links and advertising messages. Comment spam is one of the least pleasant tools in the black hat SEO’s tool box.
- WordPress as a Public History Platform: An online discussion in preparation for NCPH 2013 – Does your public history project or course use WordPress software? If so, you are one of a growing number in the profession, and in academia more broadly, who use the open source WordPress software as a tool for publishing digital projects. You can count the National Council on Public History in that group: History@Work, a self-described multi-authored, multi-interest blog, uses WordPress to push beyond the original concept of a personal web log in ways that we increasingly take for granted in the fluid space of online communications.
- What You Should Know About WordPress 3.6 – With WordPress 3.6 hitting RC1 today, I thought it was worth taking a look over some of the new features available in the latest version. So, let’s dive straight in.
- 15 Advanced Security Tips To Make Your WordPress Site Bulletproof – The main reason because of which WordPress is the favorite target for hackers, is its huge user base. There are no doubts that WordPress is the most famous CMS in the Internet. It is true that many times, WordPress got its security compromised in its early years, but the WordPress Team (that is, Automattic) was prompt enough to fix the loopholes right on time.
- Essential Plugins for WordPress Theme Development – Creating a WordPress theme is no simple task. But if you’re like me, you’ll find that it can be very rewarding and fun. In this article I am going to share some of the plugins that I use to make this process a little bit easier.
- ExpressionEngine Usage Statistics – ExpressionEngine is a flexible, feature-rich content management system that empowers thousands of individuals, organizations, and companies around the world to easily manage their website. This chart represents ExpressionEngine web usage trends over a historical time period on a large selection of website homepages queried by BuiltWith.
- Using Zurb’s Orbit with ExpressionEngine – Just like many of you, we have been doing a lot of responsive websites lately. When we can, we try to build our own without the use of frameworks. But that is not always a possibility due to budget or timeframe. When we have to use a framework we prefer to use Zurb’s Foundation. We find that it has the right mix of functionality we need to be able to develop websites.
- The Key to ExpressionEngine Performance – Imagine you were to build a house. After all the years of building web sites and being a slave to “the man” the pay day has finally come; you’ve sold out and you’re finally gonna hire a contractor to design and build you the house of your dreams (or your wife’s/husband’s/whatever’s dreams). You want to get everything; all the bells and whistles anyone could ever want in a house. Doors and windows and all the other house “things”. No expense is spared and it’s gonna be a marvel of engineering to be proud of.
- ExpressionEngine 2.6.0 Released – ExpressionEngine 2.6.0 is now available for download, and as of this release it requires at least PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0.3 or newer. We are also releasing Discussion Forums 3.1.11 and MSM 2.1.5.
Magento and eCommerce
- Unravelling Magento’s collectTotals: Introduction – In this series, I’ll be explaining the process by which Magento handles calculating and displaying totals in the cart (i.e., subtotal, tax, discount, grand total, etc), and how to customize this process for your own purposes.
- UX and Magento: The Perfect Pair for your eCommerce Website – It’s not enough that businesses in this day and age put up a website to raise awareness for their brands and sell their products. Every competent entrepreneur already has one. To have a competitive edge, a company needs to understand the concept of user experience, and apply it using the right tools such as Magento.
- Magento: Improved Sales through Social Proof – One of the major benefits of eCommerce is the ability to encourage sales by displaying the opinions of other satisfied buyers. Amazon’s reviews are a huge part of their conversion optimization process and it should also be central to the sales funnel of anyone running a Magento store.
- The Ecommerce Movement: 2003 vs. 2013 (Infographic) – In the last 10 years the face of the ecommerce industry has changed significantly. In this infographic by Corra, you can go back in time and see how far the ecommerce industry has come in terms of technology.
- 3 Great Examples of Responsive eCommerce Designs – I recently teamed up with Monetate on a short ebook The Truth About Responsive Design (which you can grab for free). It covers the history of mobile web design, pros and cons of responsive, and examples of responsive sites we like (eCommerce and non-eCommerce).
- Smartphones and Tablets Driving Retail and E-Commerce Clicks – According to The Search Agency State of Paid Search Report, total search advertising spend across Google and Yahoo!-Bing increased 21.6% year-over-year, in addition to other findings using aggregated client data from various industries to identify paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices on a year-over-year (YoY – Q1 2012 to Q1 2013) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ – Q4 2012 to Q1 2013) basis.
In honor of Earth Day last month, here is a time-lapse video of our amazing planet that was shot from the International Space Station.